Preparing for Makenzie's arrival was quite a task because I taught up until the day I had her. As I'm sure you all know, teaching is not just a 7-3 job there is a ton of extra work to do, plus I had to prepare sub plans for my long-term sub. This meant that Makenzie's nursery did not get done before she was born (and is still not completed...ugh!) and that prepping took place only on the weekends.
The thing I was most excited for was registering but once we got to Babies-R-Us I was so overwhelmed. I had done a ton of research, as I always do, and I wanted to get the perfect everything.
Almost 6 months later I thought I would go over what things we've loved and things we maybe didn't need. Obviously, this is different for everyone but here's what us Dallas' loved:
Playtex Drop-Ins Bottles
I didn't register for very many bottles because I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding. When all of that fell through I realized that I needed bottles. We tried three different bottles before we decided on the Playtex bottles. There were the First Years Breastflow bottle, which we used when we were hoping to get Makenzie used to an even slower flow again. They didn't work for us and they were a pain in the butt to clean. We then tried the Tommee Tippee and Nuby bottles. They were fine but added to Makenzie's gas issues. The Playtex Drop-Ins go against everything in me because they're not "green" and they obviously cost more BUT we saw an instant improvement in Makenzie's gas when we used them so that's what we use. Plus, let's be honest, they are so easy to clean!
We have used three different baby baths. When Makenzie was really tiny we used a bath sponge. We only used it for a few weeks but it was only $5.99 so it was worth it. After that we used the Summer Infant bath seat. Makenzie is probably too big for it now but we still use it because we all love it. We put it in the kitchen sink and let the water run on her. She plays with the water and we're not breaking our back to bathe her. We're just now transitioning Makenzie to the Munchkin Inflatable Duck bath . She doesn't love it nearly as much but I'm hoping that as she gains confidence in being submerged in water she'll learn to love it.
Pack and Play
This is probably a "Duh!" but we used our pack and play so much. Makenzie doesn't love to sleep in it but we used the changing table and accessories until she was about 5 months maybe a little older. We have a two story house and it was so nice to have everything we needed upstairs and downstairs.
Diaper and Wipes Caddy
We didn't use this a whole lot in the beginning because we used the Pack and Play but now that the pack and play is put away we use it all day. I seriously love the one we have from JJ Cole. It doesn't stick out as a baby item.
In my opinion, there's no need to get a fancy one. We have this one from Munchkin and I love it. It's not brand specific and I use it several times a day. You put 7 oz. of water in it, put whatever it is your sterilizing (pacifers, bottles, nipples, breast pump accessories, etc.) and put in the microwave for 2 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you're done. Very easy and gives peace of mind.
Boppy Pad Liners
Love these!!! We put them on our changing table upstairs and the pack and play changing table. Babies make big messes but when they make a mess on these they don't ruin your changing table pad. You just put a fresh liner on and wash the soiled one. I recommend buying a few packs because they make life a lot easier.
This thing gave me my sanity. It allowed me to take a shower every day, even when Makenzie was 2 weeks old. It has offered her a ton of entertainment. It was great when she was tiny and she still enjoys it now, although she doesn't stay under it for very long.
This is a must have. We have used it for all sorts of things. She sat in it while we ate dinner, while I pump a million times a day, and she mostly uses it now while I'm in the shower or getting ready. It's light weight so it's easy to take from room to room. Here's the one we have.
This seat is another must have. After awhile Makenzie did not like always reclining, the Bumbo allows her to sit up straight and if you have the tray that goes with it, you can feed them in it or let them play with toys on the tray.
Exersaucer (Stationary Entertainer)
We didn't get an exersaucer at our shower and so I really didn't think we would buy one. I didn't want another expensive baby gadget sitting around our house and I thought she'd be fine without it. Fast forward to 5 months and I was desperate for one. Makenzie was getting bored with her activity gym. I would put her in her high chair with toys too but that wouldn't last for very long at all. I needed something that would allow me to put her down while still encouraging her to explore her world. I found this one on Amazon for $49.99 with free shipping so we went for it. Although she gets frustrated because most of the toys don't reach to her mouth, she really does like it and it helps me have a few minutes to do something. I wouldn't normally buy something big like this in a gender specific pattern but we're planning on putting it in Craigslist after she's done with it so we don't have to store it for the next baby. I don't want to hold on to it for a few years.
Of course we used a ton of other things but these were things that we weren't sure about that we totally used and loved. Tomorrow I post things that we didn't find very useful.